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Retaking classes to raise sGPA. What are my chances?


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I am a 22yr old who recently graduated from UIUC this past May. I have a Bachelor's in Sciences and an Associates in Arts from a community college. In addition to that, I am CNA certified. My undergraduate GPA was 3.22. For the last two years I have been working hard to raise my GPA, so one can see an upward trend on my transcript. However, my science GPA is still unsatisfactory and I am retaking classes this summer to raise it. 

 

Here are my stats:

Current undergrad GPA: 3.22

Science GPA: approximately 2.67 

CNA certified 

Patient contact hours: ~2500 hours working as a research assistant in Endocrinology department (helping Diabetic patients with medication) and experience working as a CNA. 300+ hours volunteering in hospitals.150 hours working in a Renal Dialysis clinic for 2 years now. 

 

GRE scores: 

VR: 150 

QR: 145 

 

I am debating if I should still apply for the 2016 cycle considering that my sGPA is still lower than the required minimum, OR I wait a year, accumulate more hours and raise my GPA while either working as a CNA or Scribe. My two other possible options are either pursuing a Master's or doing Nursing instead. I have a passion for both since my mother is a Nurse and my father is a retired surgeon. 

 

I would appreciate any input or advice you guys may have. 

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I am debating if I should still apply for the 2016 cycle considering that my sGPA is still lower than the required minimum, [...]

And the debate in that case would be, "Do I waste my money on CASPA or not?", yes?  Minimums are minimums; if you don't meet them, you won't be given a special dispensation from somewhere and considered, your application will be thrown away.  Your cGPA is marginally competitive, but your sGPA is over a half of a grade (0.55) in the wrong direction.  Even if there is a school that doesn't specify a minimum sGPA, I would be surprised if you got an interview anywhere this season.

 

You have plenty of options to raise things and make yourself more competitive, but those sorts of things do not happen overnight, and I fear there is nothing you can do to make your application competitive for this go round.  Don't lose heart--many people ran into a wall based on their GPA, and many of those overcame it.  It's just not an easy, fast, or cheap thing to do.

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Don't lose heart--many people ran into a wall based on their GPA, and many of those overcame it.  It's just not an easy, fast, or cheap thing to do.

 

 I agree with rev on this. It might be best to skip this cycle, increase HCE and community service and work on your GPA. 

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http://www.physicianassistantforum.com/index.php?/forum/441-pre-pa-general-discussion/

 

Check out the pre-PA section and do a lot of searching.

 

It's true! OP, please don't be offended, or confuse our directing you to the pre-PA section as a dismissal of you or your concerns. Honestly, the best you could get out of this crowd here in Professional PA General Discussion is a string of anecdotes, some of them very old, that may or may not even relate to your situation. You're far better off in the section where others are doing (or have recently done) what you're trying to do.

 

And experienced PAs do visit those sections too, when they have guidance to give.

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As someone who spent a few years raising my GPA before application, I'll add that I asked quite a few admissions people about retaking courses to raise my GPA.  100% of them responded saying they'd rather I take a new class--an advanced class--and get an A in that.  A few of them mentioned that anyone should be able to get an A the second time around, so if you get anything BUT an A the second time, it looks like a negative.  Likewise, taking a course the second time around just isn't that impressive.  And while CC credits are certainly a legitimate way to complete prereqqs (indeed, I took several CC courses in preparation for PA school as well)--there's no question a 25-person lecture at a CC is a MUCH different environment than a larger university lecture experience.  It's really worth calling the admissions dept of every school you're interested in to find out how someone like you would be considered by their program and how you can make yourself most competitive for those specific programs.  One thing I found is that every program seems to be looking for something specific--some want volunteer work and overlook CC credits while others just want a 3.6 from a specific set of universities.  It would be a shame to waste an application cycle on programs you have no chance at while you neglect to apply to others that might be dying to meet you.  The best work you can do right now is list all your strongest attributes and really find the schools who are looking for those specific qualities.  You will eventually find a match.  Best of luck. 

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